When people with Skill, Commitment, Hope and Human touch work together with passion to save a life of a person whom they have never met and might never meet you know Goodness prevails and Faith in Humanity is restored.
Whether it was karma or destiny, that brought 32 year old Nileesh, an agriculture graduate just starting his career and just engaged, about 2000 kms away from his hometown Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh to Kayatharu in Tamil Nadu and which forever changed his life would always be a question unanswered.
Nileesh, had come with family to visit temples in Tamil Nadu. The fateful group tour in Tamil Nadu started from Madurai in one of the crazy tourist vans that throng temples down South. The tour proceeded and the group prayed at various temples. At about 3 AM in the wee hours of August 3rd, the van stopped due to a punctured tyre, just past the toll gate in Kayatharu- a small town 120 kms from Tirunelveli. This stop unfortunately was the last stop for a few passengers in the van. A lorry speeding rammed into the parked vehicle and with it went the dreams and lives of people. 2 women were dead on the spot, and the others were rushed to Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. Among the group, an elderly woman and a 28 year old young man were pronounced dead as they were brought in. Another young man Nileesh was seriously injured and was in shock as he sustained injuries and his liver was totally shattered. Others sustained minor injuries and fractures. The family reeled under the tragedy as last rites, happened in Kanyakumari for the elderly lady and the other bodies were airlifted to their hometown . The family knew no one in Tamil Nadu and through the local BJP office in Itarsi , cadres were informed in Tirunelveli to look after the young man. No member of the family were there to make decisions.
Mr.T.V Suresh – BJP District General Organisation Secretary of Tirunelveli District, Dr.Bilal Ahmed- Consultant Anaesthetist, Dr.Sithy Athiya Munavarah, Dean of Tirunelveli Medical College and doctors became family to Nileesh .He was operated immediately and given the best medical treatment available. He was in shock with grade IV liver injury, haemodynamically unstable and his medical condition demanded advanced treatment and expertise.The patient’s family in Madhya Pradesh requested the patient to be shifted to Global hospital , Chennai. That was 625 kms and a minimum 10 hour journey which Nileesh at his present medical condition could never withstand. The Dean of Tirunelveli Medical College said, ”We wanted to do what was best for the patient and give him the chance to live.” The patient condition was critical and time was ticking away. Based on the request of the patient’s family it was decided to shift the patient to Global Hospital, Chennai. The patient was on ventilatory support.
Ganga Hospital in Coimbatore was contacted for their Ganga air ambulance service and immediately a whole team started working. It was decided that the patient could be picked up from Tuticorin airport since the Hospital and the airport were nearby. Airlifting the patient would involve flying from Coimbatore to Tuticorin via Madurai and then to Chennai via Trichy.
Within a few hours, permissions to land were got from Tirunelveli Collector, while the medical team worked at stabilizing the condition of the patient, The Dean sought permissions from airport, police and various authorities and arranged for safe transfer to the Ganga Air Ambulance which is a dedicated helicopter ambulance with full life support which could transfer even ventilated patients in case of emergency quickly. The team at Ganga worked out the best possible route for the patient, coordinated with the liver team in Global Hospital and Tirunelveli, sent their senior anaesthetist Dr Venketeswaran and paramedic to accompany the patient, with facilities onboard the aircraft to offer ICU support to the patient.
From 6pm on Saturday 5th August,to when the patient was airborne at 8.30AM on Sunday morning, to when he was shifted to Global Hospital at 12 noon on Sunday, there was just one thing that drove people to work and that was -” Here was a sick person who needed help to live.”. What happened that day was Beyond Medicine, Beyond the call of duty, by all involved.
We had an efficient and humane Tirunelveli Collector, Mr. Sandeep Nanduri, who was extremely quick in responding to permissions sought – no bureaucratic hassle, a Government Institution ( Tirunelveli Medical College & Hospital) which really proved what public – private partnership means , a Dean ( Dr. Munaivara of Tirunelveli Medical College) who was personally involved, monitoring not just medical condition of the patient through the night but coordinating logistics and safe transfer of the patient, Dr.Bilal Ahmed and Dr.Ganesh in Tirunelveli Medical College ICU who coordinated with the medical team at Ganga, the Management of Ganga Hospital who decided that the life of the young man was worth more than writing off Rs 6 lakhs off the bill, a senior anaesthetist – Dr.Venkateswaran from Ganga who cancelled his Sunday family commitment to go along with the patient, air ambulance coordinators, Mr.Kalyanaraman and Dr.Balaji who worked through the night to make the transfer possible , pilots – Captain Poonam Bharadwaj and Capt.Ashok who made sure that the flight journey, take off and landing were very smooth as any jerk could cause further bleeding, the paramedic, Mr.Sateesh who made sure the transfer was smooth and all ventilator support was given to the patient during the flight, the team from Global Hospital who took over medical care of the patient from Chennai airport, Mr.T.V.Suresh from BJP District General Secretary, Tirunelveli who represented the grief stricken family and Nileesh’s fiancé and held fort till family arrived in Chennai – All people mentioned above did not know Mr.Nileesh or his family. All that they knew was – ” He needed to live and that they were racing against time.”
Nileesh was airlifted successfully and is undergoing treatment in Chennai. His transfer would not have been possible to Chennai without the air ambulance as time and medical aid during transfer was very crucial. God sometimes has his ways and this incident and accident makes you wonder – Why did this have to happen? Whether God was fair to the family and whether ‘He’ is still around, but ‘He’ made his presence felt through all the people who stepped up beyond their call of duty for no benefit of their own. Nileesh will live and maybe meet these unknown people to invite them for his wedding. Truly, Faith in Humanity is Restored.
With lots of prayers for his recovery.
– Gayathri Ananthakrishnan.